OsiosSavvasIgiasmenos02Venerable Sava the Sanctified

December 5

At five years of age, Saint Sava’s left him in the care of his uncle as they went journeying for military matters. When he turned eight, Sava entered into a monastery where he quickly learned how to read, and thus became engrossed in the Holy Scriptures. When his parents returned from their journey, they urged their son to leave the monastery, but he remained unyielding. At seventeen years of age, Sava was tonsured a monk and already had attained such perfection that the Lord granted him the gift of wonderworking. The Saint lived at this monastery until he was thirty years old. After the death of his elder, Sava received the blessing to live as a hermit in a cave. On weekends he would return to the monastery to participate in the Divine Services, but after a certain time, he received the blessing to remain constantly in his cave. He struggled this way for five years in extreme asceticism and fasting. So great was the virtue of the young man that Saint Euthymius the Great, his fellow struggler, even nicknamed him the “child-elder”. After the death of Saint Euthymius, Saint Sava moved to a cave near the monastery of Saint Gerasimos of Jordan. After some time, monks began gathering around him and Saint Sava prayed for direction from the Lord. A fiery pillar appeared before the Saint and directed him to a cave in the form of a church which still exists today. The Saint performed many miracles, including bringing forth a spring in the middle of the barren desert (the river still flows abundantly today) as well as planting a date palm tree, which its leaves are boiled and served as tea to barren women who miraculously conceive through the intercessions of the Saint. Before his repose, the Saint compiled the first monastic Rule called the “Jerusalem Typicon” which was accepted by all Palestinian monasteries.

Ἀπολυτίκιον
Ἦχος α’. Τῆς ἐρήμου πολίτης.
Tῶν ὁσίων ἀκρότης καὶ ἀγγέλοις ἐφάμιλλος ὡς γὰρ ἡγιασμένος ἐδείχθης ἐκ παιδός, Σάββα ὅσιε. Οὐράνιον γὰρ βίον ἀπελθῶν, πρὸς ἔνθεον ζωὴν χειραγωγεῖς διὰ λόγου τε καὶ πράξεως ἀληθοῦς, τοὺς πίστει ἐκβοῶντας σοι. Δόξα τῷ δεδοκότι σοι ἰσχύν, δόξα τῷ σὲ στεφανώσαντι, δόξα τῷ ἐνεργοῦντι διὰ σοῦ πᾶσιν ἰάματα.

Κοντάκιον
Ἦχος πλ. δ’. Τῇ ὑπερμάχῳ.
Ὡς ἀπὸ βρέφους τῷ Θεῷ θυσία ἄμωμος, προσενεχθεὶς δι᾽ ἀρετῆς, Σάββα μακάριε, τῷ σε πρὶν γεννηθῆναι ἐπισταμένῳ· ἐχρημάτισας Ὁσίων ἐγκαλλώπισμα, πολιστής τε τῆς ἐρήμου ἀξιέπαινος· διὸ κράζω σοι, Χαίροις Πάτερ ἀοίδιμε.

Troparion — Tone 8
With the streams of your tears you cultivated the barrenness of the desert; / and by your deep sighs, you bore fruit a hundredfold in your labors. / You became a luminary, shining upon the world with miracles. / O our righteous Father Sava, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved!

Kontakion — Tone 8
From your youth you offered yourself to God as a blameless sacrifice, / having been dedicated to Him before your birth, blessed Sava. / You were an adornment of the righteous and a praiseworthy citizen of the desert. / Therefore, we cry to you: “Rejoice, ever glorious Father.”